Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen the first five chapters of Ahsoka.

In the most recent chapter of Ahsoka, a very familiar character made an appearance. From within the World Between Worlds, we got our first glimpse of Ahsoka’s former master, Anakin Skywalker. Reprising his role from the prequel movies and from the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show, Hayden Christensen was not an unexpected sight. He was, after all, among the credited actors for the season. So while him showing up wasn’t a total surprise, where he made his cameo certainly was.

You see, the World Between Worlds is an unknown space. Not just anyone can make their way into it. Not even the Emperor had the power to do that. To our knowledge, the only two characters to ever walk its paths are Ahsoka and the Jedi who initially pulled her into the realm, Ezra Bridger. As the Ahsoka show is all about finding Ezra, it makes sense that the World Between Worlds would show up. Perhaps not this soon, but it is a gateway of sorts, which could have been a neat way to bypass the void and move from one galaxy to the next. You know, for those who missed the free lift from the Eye of Sion.

But that’s not how it was used. Instead, it became the forum for a teachable lesson. A lesson taught by none other than the Chosen One himself. The man who fell from grace and allowed the Empire to rise. The man who betrayed everything he’d been taught and turned to the Dark Side. In other words, one of the last people you’d want to see meddling around from within the World Between Worlds.

Anakin: A Master Revealed

Anakin in the World Between Worlds

For Ahsoka’s journey, it was inevitable — if not absolutely necessary — for her to confront Anakin again. After she turned her back on him and the Jedi Order in the Clone Wars animated series, she became rudderless. She didn’t consider herself a Jedi anymore, but she continued to feel the pull of doing the right thing. To work on the side of the Light. That’s why she became Fulcram. It’s why she got involved with the Ghost crew, because fighting against the Empire was a form of redemption.

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Yet, in all that time she never got a chance to revisit her most eventful decision. Sure, there was the duel with Darth Vader in Rebels. A scene, interestingly enough, that presaged her first trip into the World Between Worlds. But now here she is, face to face with her former master, in another pivotal moment in her life. Because not only is Thrawn lurking in the background but Ahsoka’s failure with Sabine Wren is front and center. It’s not too dramatic to say that the future of Force sensitives rests with the direction she takes. Ahsoka is one of the few trained Jedi still left in the galaxy so it’s important that she stay on the righteous path and not get distracted.

That Ahsoka would return from the World Between Worlds was never in doubt. But the question was always there — where would her commitment lie? Would she still be laser focused on preventing Thrawn from rising or would she listen to her friends and get back to being a true Jedi? Naturally, her interaction with Anakin influences that decision. And that’s the point. To crystallize her opinions about herself and her early years within the Jedi Order. And, hopefully, to give her enough closure to be more confident with her abilities and decision making.

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Better Than Ezra?

Ahsoka Tano and Ezra Bridger

The last time Ahsoka was in the World Between Worlds she was being dragged from imminent death. In a losing duel with Vader, she was about to be sliced in half. That’s when Ezra yanked her through a gateway and saved her life. From there the pair were drawn to an important moment in Ezra’s life — a moment that could have undone his very existence were he to have interceded. But with Ahsoka’s guidance, Ezra made the right decision.

In the fifth chapter, Ahsoka was never really given the chance to alter the past. Instead, she revisited memories from her first missions with Anakin. And while she did hold back, questioning why she was fighting, the temptation to undo what was done never really materialized. The scene felt more like a dream sequence than a choice to go down a different path. It’s not like a doorway was presented with the option to stop Anakin from becoming Vader. Still, Ahsoka did face her own past choices and was made to realize that fighting was better than watching everything slip away. Like Sabine.

Assuming Ahsoka remains strong, she’ll come to understand that her time within the Jedi Order wasn’t time wasted. That the lessons she was taught were not in vain. That even though the Order was corrupted and became a tool of other powers and influences, the meaning behind their words and actions are admirable. If she can convince herself of that, her stay within the World Between Worlds will only help. It’ll further her goals and get her back on the path she was meant to take.

Why Anakin? Why Now? Why There?

Anakin and young Ahsoka

The short answer is because Ahsoka needed a kick in the butt. She needed to stop being so passive and so doubtful and to trust her gut. And it had to be Anakin because he’s the only person influential enough to get that done. He’s the only person Ahsoka would listen to like a student. Now, exactly why that had to happen within the World Between Worlds is unknown. And, quite frankly, a little bit troubling.

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You see, it raises questions related to how that space operates. Whether it has any ties to the Mortis gods. If Ahsoka can now enter it whenever she wants. In short, it’s opened a whole new can of worms that really didn’t need to be opened. After all, this episode could have been a simple fever dream. One brought on by Ahsoka’s near death experience. In practice, that’s how it operated. However, with the added scenery linking it to the World Between Worlds, it’s no longer so simple.

That’s because certain rules were established when Ezra entered. Rules that should remain unassailable, especially considering the power at risk. Time travel is never something to be taken lightly. And it should only be introduced with set parameters. If what we saw in chapter 5 was indeed the World Between Worlds, then those parameters have changed. The question now becomes, why?

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the TV series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

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